Sunday, October 16, 2011

Citizens, legal experts decry ‘rising cost’ of hiring maids

Citizens, legal experts decry ‘rising cost’ of hiring maids:

Some embassies accused of engaging in illegal practices

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 15: A number of citizens, legal experts and officials in charge of the affairs of expatriate workers have expressed their disappointment on the rising cost of hiring domestic workers, which now stands at KD 700 per worker, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

These people pointed out the exorbitant recruitment fee is a burden to the citizens, especially those with limited income. They also criticized the lack of laws on domestic employment; hence, decisions are taken randomly, to the detriment of both the employers and the employees. They stressed the need for Kuwait to learn from the experiences of other GCC countries, which have effectively dealt with domestic labor issues like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

Accusing some embassies of countries that send domestic workers to Kuwait of engaging in illegal practices, these people claimed the embassies have conspired with the recruitment firms to increase the fees for hiring household workers.

On the other hand, some owners of the recruitment firms have denied wrongdoing and blamed the embassies for the rising cost of hiring domestic workers. They alleged some firms offer the services of a maid, who escaped from her sponsor, to two or more employers in order to charge higher fees. They added some citizens and expatriates prefer absconding household workers to take advantage of their inability to file a complaint to the security authorities if their rights are violated.

Yeah I know this feeling by experience, in 2007 I paid an agency 350 KD for a Philipino domestic helper and a few months ago I had to pay 750 KD for her replacement. It took me a couple months of saving before I could afford to pay the agency. I think the government should get involved and control these agencies that inflate the prices.

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